Civil Engineering

Rudy Schueder

Rudy Schueder 


Hometown: Mississauga, ON

Education: B.Sc. in chemical engineering, M.A.Sc candidate in civil engineering 

Research Group: Wastewater stabilization ponds

Co-supervisor: Geof Hall

Thesis: Elevated pH in wastewater stabilization pond and treatment using constructed wetlands


Wastewater stabilization ponds can exhibit elevated pH levels in the summer months due to excessive primary production activity. In order to develop effective natural treatment solutions that address elevated pH, a mechanistic understanding of the cause of this elevated pH is required. Numerical water quality modeling is a tool that can aid engineers and decision makers in the understanding of the processes and mechanisms by which pH increases in a wastewater stabilization pond. A review of the literature has shown that most wastewater stabilization pond models do not incorporate both water quality and hydrodynamic considerations in the prediction of effluent water quality. Additionally, very few models include pH dynamics, a critical element to consider in natural treatment systems exhibiting high rates of primary production. This work aims to predict pH, DO, temperature and inorganic nutrient trends in a wastewater stabilization pond in Ontario, Canada over a 214-day period using a three dimensional numerically coupled water quality-hydrodynamic model. The model will be calibrated with spatial and temporal field observations taken daily during this 214-day period. Results will identify the processes that have the most significant effect on the development of elevated pH in the system, while considering a environmental and site-specific forcing. Interpretation of model results will enable engineers to design natural treatment systems that utilize the appropriate biogeochemical processes relevant to the attenuation of high pH domestic wastewater.

Awards: NSERC CREATE: STEWARD, NSERC Industrial USRA, Charles A. Thompson Research Award, H.F. Zurbrigg Award